Living With Down Syndrome Essay

Living With Down Syndrome Essay

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There are many different types of children with a myriad of needs in our school system. Included within this group of students are those who are diagnosed with Down syndrome. There are more than 250,000 people living in the United States with a Down syndrome diagnosis (Genetics). Down syndrome is not a hidden disability rather it has physical attributes that can make the diagnosis obvious. Furthermore, individuals with Down syndrome and their families have to cope with multiple health issues, cognitive limitations, and the stigma of having a disability. In order to understand the struggle that people with Down syndrome must face from the beginning of their life, we must first understand where the diagnosis came from.
Down syndrome was first classified by Dr. John Langdon Haydon Down, who referred to persons with down syndrome as mongoloids because of their facial features being similar to those who are from Mongolia, particularly the slanted eyes (Moran). As a result this disorder was known as mongolism, but this is now considered offensive and has been recognized as Down syndrome since the early 1970s (Moran). Though Dr. Down didn't have down syndrome, he became an advocate for the proper treatment for people who were mentally handicapped. Dr. Down was the pioneer of discovering the similar traits of those who had down syndrome. However, it was the geneticist Jerome Lejeune who discovered the gene abnormality which in turn manifests the physical and mental traits Dr. Down was studying (Moran). Dr. Down showed us what Down syndrome looks like, but Jerome Lejeune showed us where it came from.
Down syndrome is a disorder that happens when a baby is conceived, not something that happens after they are born or as they continu...

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Your guide to understanding genetic conditions. (2014, March 24). Retrieved March 27,
2014, from Genetics Home Reference website:

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